Microsoft reveals Windows 7 editions

With four different retail editions and arbitrarily segregated feature sets, Windows Vista certainly didn’t make shopping easy for consumers. Will Windows 7 make things any easier? Yes, says Paul Thurrott, who’s heard about Microsoft’s plans for Windows 7 editions straight from the horse’s mouth.

At first glance, Thurrott’s list of Windows 7 editions looks just as daunting. However, he says Microsoft will limit the number of retail editions, and feature sets will follow a “Russian doll” structure whereby pricier editions will automatically include the features of their cheaper counterparts. (By contrast, Vista Business lacked Vista Home Premium’s media-center functionality despite the higher price tag.)

Here’s the list of Windows 7 editions and their major features, based on Thurrott’s descriptions:

  • Windows 7 Starter – stripped down version for new PCs only; can only run three applications at once.
  • Windows 7 Home Premium – includes Aero Glass, Mobility Center, Media Center, multi-touch support, DVD authoring.
  • Windows 7 Professional – includes all of the Home Premium features plus Remote Desktop hosting, domain joining, file-system encryption (EFS), location-aware printing, offline folders, and a presentation mode.
  • Windows 7 Enterprise – for volume-license customers only. Includes all of the Professional features plus DirectAccess, BranchCache, AppLocker, and BitLocker.
  • Windows 7 Ultimate – includes all of the Enterprise features, minus the volume-licensing requirement.

According to Thurrott, Microsoft doesn’t plan to put many marketing dollars behind Windows 7 Ultimate, and the edition will be available “via occasional promotions and offers from both PC makers and retailers.” That leaves only two retail editions folks should really worry about: Home Premium and Professional.

Having only two major retail editions essentially brings Microsoft back to the Windows XP days, although to be fair, the company offered media center functionality only in a third XP edition. Unless Windows 7 Ultimate ends up having a strong presence, Windows 7’s retail edition split seems like it could be even more straightforward than XP’s.

Comments closed
    • shiznit
    • 11 years ago

    I does have a lot less crap than Vista but I still like to get rid of some crap like UAC and TabletPC, and I wish there was a version of VLite so I could get rid of all the extra drivers, desktop backgrounds, sounds, voice recognition files, and other crap I will never use that takes up space on the HD (it will come in handy when I get a laptop with SSD).

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      UAC is a very good thing. Also, how small of an SSD are you planning on getting? Is 10GB really going to hurt things?

    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 11 years ago

    i will buy ultimate for a new PC and continue to use vista ๐Ÿ˜›

    • jdaven
    • 11 years ago

    I just looked at the different retail versions of Vista at Newegg just now and their isn’t much difference in price.

    Home Basic $190 – $30 instant
    Home Premium $223
    Ultimate $236
    Business $279

    I know the prices were a lot different at launch and another version of windows is coming out so they want to move stock, but these prices point to exactly what MS should do and not lose much money –> one version of windows 7 at different price points based on the customer.

    Windows 7 $149 (education price)
    Windows 7 $199 (home and home office price)
    Windows 7 $299 (medium to large business price)

    MS could offer more or less services and features based on the end customer. They could also lock out or activate features based on the customer showing proof of the intended purpose (company name for businesses, student ID for students, nothing for regular users).

    This seems logical to me and MS doesn’t have to print multiple versions on different disks or manufacturer a variety of OS packaging. This saves money, energy and the environment.

    But, hey, what do I know. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • no51
      • 11 years ago

      So adding onto your idea, make Windows 7 50$ and make all the features you want be microtransactions! Want remote desktop? 4000 MSFT points! Media Center? 2000 MSFT points! Brilliant!

        • MadManOriginal
        • 11 years ago

        OH GOD NO DELETE YOUR POST NOW BEFORE A MARKETING MICRODRONE READS IT!!1/1

          • WaltC
          • 11 years ago

          I AGREE! YOU SHOULD DELETE YOUR POST NOW BEFORE A MARKETING MICRODRONE REVEALS THAT YOU ARE QUOTING PRICING FOR FULL VERSIONS & UPGRADE VERSIONS OF VISTA WHEN THE GREAT MAJORITY OF PEOPLE BOUGHT THE UPGRADE VERSIONS FOR A FRACTION OF THE COSTS YOU LIST–WHICH MAKES IT A DEAD GIVEAWAY THAT YOU YOURSELF DIDN’T ACTUALLY BUY VISTA!

          For instance, Vista Basic FULL is listed at BB for $199, while Vista Basic UPGRADE is listed at BB for $99, and Vista Ultimate FULL is listed at $319 while Vista Ultimate Upgrade is listed at $219.

          ยง[<http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=abcat0508001&type=category<]ยง Also, you probably want to know that the UPGRADE versions also contain FULL versions of the OS, the only difference being that you don't have to prove that you own one of the products required to use the UPGRADE version. One last thought...be aware that resellers like BB and NewEgg set their own prices on the OS software they buy from Microsoft for resale. Which is why, of course, that NewEgg's prices don't exactly mirror BB's.

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            I’m not sure if you got their points.

            • WaltC
            • 11 years ago

            I can’t see how I missed them…;) I mean, suppose you are a business with 4,000 seats to license (using Vista Basic as an example), and you don’t need anything more than Vista Basic? Doing it their way, selling to business at a flat $299, that means one of two things: instead of being able to buy 4,000 licenses at $99 a seat the business will be able to buy only 1333 seats at $299 a seat; or the business just may say “Forget the whole thing.”

            I think that if Microsoft was to offer the exact same version of Win7 at different prices depending on who you are professionally–they’d never hear the end of the complaints…;) And what if the “home and office” user is expecting to pay $89 for an upgrade-from-Vista license to Win7, as he did when he bought his upgrade-from-XP Vista license?

            I think it is much more fair to sell everybody at a price dependent on the features they need in an OS, and let the buyer make that decision. And besides, education and business prices are always traditionally lower than retail, especially where a lot of licenses are sold in bulk. Windows 7 won’t be changing any of that, I’m sure.

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            Your reply really should’ve been about 8 times shorter.

            • WaltC
            • 11 years ago

            I realize that these days asking someone to read through three brief paragraphs is probably asking for the moon, but, well, that’s just me…;)

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            When I point out that you’re off-topic, I’m sure as hell not asking for 3 more bloated paragraphs continuing off topic.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 11 years ago

            Well he certainly missed the point I was making which was to run screaming from microtransaction or subscription software. As for the pricing…quoting MSRP when fully legit copies are readily available for less…haha

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 11 years ago

    I would very much like a Windows 7 No Extra Crap edition. It just comes with everything already disabled that I’m going to turn off, anyways, right when it’s installed. It’s not like the other versions are any more distinguished from each other and justifiable, so why not? I think it would be really useful, but that’s why it will never happen, and we’ll just keep getting WINDOWS OVER 9,000 ULTRA MEGA WALLET PWN EDITION.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      If you think you’re going to have to disable anything in Windows 7, you’re a sorely mistaken “enthusiast”.

        • feek
        • 11 years ago

        may as well use win98

          • Meadows
          • 11 years ago

          I think you don’t even know what the grown-ups were talking about.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 11 years ago

            I don’t mean turn things off to make it run better. But there are always pointless icons, pop up messages, and graphic effects, in every version of Windows, that drive me nuts. I don’t particularly enjoy the process of hunting for every little thing I end up changing.

            And for the record, Windows 98 sucked because it had extra crap thrown in for no reason. That’s entirely the opposite of my point.

            To me it’s more like, “May as well use XP,” because by the time I’m done with Vista, it pretty much feels like a slightly rearranged XP to me, anyways.

            I’m just not a fan of what I would refer to as clutter, and I wish you could install with the OS “stripped down.”

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            Problem is, I don’t even know what it is you’re referring to as “clutter”. You can count on Windows 7 being relatively logical in its workings, although you might want to use a different shell because Windows Explorer makes less sense than ever before (this comes from a Microsoft fan).

            • DancingWind
            • 11 years ago

            I think that you need to go back to MS-DOS then … its deffinetly short in the ‘clutter’ department .. but hey ๐Ÿ˜€ how distracting can a black screen be ๐Ÿ˜€

            • indeego
            • 11 years ago

            Check out software called /[

            • jstern
            • 11 years ago

            I think you might just have personal issues with clutter in general. You can’t expect Microsoft to spend millions of dollars on an OS specifically meant for you. Millions of other people might want those things you consider clutter. If someone found the snipping tool in Vista to be clutter, it would be arrogant for someone to be outraged that Microsoft has such tools that they consider clutter, when it is a useful tool for many.

            Speaking of clutter, I think I read that Mega Man 9 for Xbox 360 weights in at something like 361mb. That annoys me. 8mb for the wii. It should be at most a 1mb game.

      • WaltC
      • 11 years ago

      *self-nuked* (wrong place)

      • Cyco-Dude
      • 11 years ago

      i agree, but my definition of crap seems different than yours. while you seem to be talking about tweakable settings, i’d like an os that didn’t have all the bloat that home premium has. all of the “features” listed i have no need for, so why should i pay for them? a $50 os sounds good to me. hopefully you’ll have the option to not install (or at least fully uninstall) the features you don’t need.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 11 years ago

        They aren’t doing any harm sitting there, are they?

      • PetMiceRnice
      • 11 years ago

      I liked Windows back in the 95/98/ME days because I could (mostly) install what I wanted and didn’t want during the install routine for Windows.

      • BKA
      • 11 years ago

      I’m sure there will be a version of nlite/vlite for Windows 7. I don’t use everything that comes with Windows and it irks me too on my gaming machine. All my other PC’s have regular installs but I keep an updated slipstreamed Vista DVD that I can pop in anytime and be up and running with stuff I don’t use removed and necessary drivers already loaded.

      • StashTheVampede
      • 11 years ago

      There is that version: Windows 2008 server.

      It has a significant number of services disabled by default, has the same kernel as Vista AND has the wonderful (I’m not joking) Hyper-V for any VM fun!

      • potatochobit
      • 11 years ago

      The main thing I do not like about vista is you cannot run the system in Japanese unicode unless you purchase vista ultimate. So folks who buy a manufacturer built home PC with vista home then have to buy a ‘second’ copy of windows they already own to upgarde to ultimate functionality is annoying and even offensive.

        • Krogoth
        • 11 years ago

        I believe MS has already realize how much of a bone-headed decision that end up being. I do not see any evidence that “7” will do the same thing as Vista.

        What was baffling about the issue is that older versions of Windows always had Unicode support for other languages out of the box. What is more appalling is that foreign language support for Vista takes up GBs of capacity. I am not kidding. I would figure that text and other support would at most take up a GB or more if you were to install everything.

          • Saber Cherry
          • 11 years ago

          They have to provide the correct accent and facial animations for localized versions of Clippy and the damn Search puppy, etc. It gets pretty big! Then they run the patented Vista reverse-compress-compiler that takes Windows XP machine code, dis-assembles it, translates it into Visual Basic, then runs inverse-zip to make the data take 500% more space – and presto! You have the Vista version. I’m not sure why they do this, but you can verify that MS does in fact use this inverse-zip technology by examining the size of any random text file on your computer, pasting the content into Word, saving it as a doc file, and calculating the ratio of the size of the two files. Actual ratio may vary, of course.

    • Ashbringer
    • 11 years ago

    Can’t their just be 1 version of Windows 7? It’s not like half the features that comes with Windows 7 Ultimate would be used by half of the people who get it anyway.

    OMG it comes with file-system encryption! I can’t wait to use that feature.

    Given that half the people out there even know what encryption is.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      This has been said before: the people who buy Professional or Ultimate editions know what they’re doing. You don’t have to babysit them like you’d like to.

    • Space Bags
    • 11 years ago

    Live mesh allows remote desktop so why would they advertise this as a feature. I assume that eventually mesh will be distributed with remote desktop intact?

    • jstern
    • 11 years ago

    Since I’m not a moron, I’m not going to get confused by there being 3 or 4 or 5 different versions. All these complaints about there being too many versions is just silly. It’s not like you have to buy all the versions, and each version represents more money out of your pocket.

      • Austin
      • 11 years ago

      l[<:o(<]l Unfortunately there's a lot of people out there with little PC knowledge and these poor fools keep getting lumbered with Vista Basic. All they know is Vista is the new Windows (if they even know that), they don't realise how penny-pinching the company they're buying from really is.

        • WaltC
        • 11 years ago

        I could say the exact same thing about people who buy Macs, or who buy Linux distros, simply because they’ve heard somewhere that they are “better.” Lots of poor schmoes in similar categories get taken to the cleaners all the time on an innumerable array of goods and services.

        But the fact is we live in a Caveat Emptor economy, don’t we? IE, if you aren’t informed about what you buy before you buy it, you may very well make a mistake. Taking care how you spend your money is your responsibility and nobody else’s. Why? Because it’s your money and nobody else’s.

        In this case there are three fundamental and hard-to-confuse facts that make your contention almost ludicrous:

        (1) The prices for the various versions of Windows 7 range from low to higher, with each version having its own specific price. Common sense tells most consumers that the less they pay the less they get, and the more they pay the more they get. Few consumers are likely to misunderstand this.

        (2) On every Windows 7 product box there’s a chart detailing the available versions and showing the consumer what spending more money for a higher-priced version will get him. If people can’t or won’t read then it’s certainly not Microsoft’s fault, is it?

        (3) Just in case a foolish consumer gets it in his head that purchasing Home Premium is actually the same thing as purchasing Ultimate, except for a lower price, then he’s not stuck with Home Premium if what he wanted is Ultimate, because for a few dollars more he can upgrade to Ultimate with the same disk he used to install Home Premium.

        Last, if Microsoft really wanted to “pinch pennies” then it would sell simply two versions: Enterprise and Ultimate, and it would charge an ultimate price for each. Obviously. providing consumers with more choice and lower prices, according to their needs, is something that benefits the consumer a lot more than it benefits Microsoft. I’ll never understand the logic that people use to try and rationalize the notion that “less is more” and “less choice is better choice.” But your post is proof that it happens every day.

          • DrDillyBar
          • 11 years ago

          I bought Vista Home Basic on purpose.
          And MS once said: “Do more with less”, or some such.
          … AND; Thanks for posting that.

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    I’m really surprised they did it this way. The “enterprise” options aren’t appealing to any large company, period. they already have tools that have filled these gaps, and have had them since Windows 2000. I think businesses were looking for better ways to consolidate administration/ease administration, rather than untested nonstandard protocols on their networks that will spend years in the labsg{<.<}g

    • Zymergy
    • 11 years ago

    “Windows 7 Starter – stripped down version for new PCs only; can only run three applications at once.”
    Does this read to anyone else as: “subscription-based service” ?

    It seems to be the direction MS wants to go… rather then to sell the OS at $200 (or whatever) ONCE, they want to collect fees for the OS “upgrade” EVERY YEAR as a subscription… otherwise it would just downgrade back to the “starter” version…
    I am speculating here, and admittedly did not bother to RTFA, but this is the direction I see Microsoft going in the future… they are going the way of McAfee et al… to a yearly subscription-based service-based plan where you did not actually buy any code, just a subscription plan license to use it for a period of time (not to mention MS having your credit card data on file), terms and conditions subject to change without notice….

      • Taddeusz
      • 11 years ago

      This is really just being paranoid. I doubt anyone will see Starter Edition outside a few limited applications. Low resource computers such as netbooks is really the only area this version of Windows 7 makes sense in the US market.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 11 years ago

        They’ve had versions of Windows like that for farkin ever. I’ve never heard of the 3 application limit, which sounds incredibly silly, but I’ve also never even seen one of these before.

    • dpaus
    • 11 years ago

    I wonder why they bothered to put the effort into making sure that the Starter version could only run three applications??

      • radix
      • 11 years ago

      Probably because this version will run on slower computers that may not handle a lot of tasks concurrently.

      • feek
      • 11 years ago

      it’s intended for developing countries, it’s probably sold for next to nothing. and i imagine they dont want it to actually be valuable (and having the keys resold)

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 11 years ago

    I will buy my Basic and *torrenstall* my Profesional.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      Why?

        • Kurotetsu
        • 11 years ago

        Dirt broke college student? (which isn’t an excuse for pirating at all, but I’m just guessing here)

          • Usacomp2k3
          • 11 years ago

          Most college students get a discount. Plus, that is no excuse to pirate. If you can’t afford the requirements of college, then don’t go to college. If it’s not a requirement, then use Linux. Plus, how many people buy a $800 computer and then balk at paying for an OS?

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 11 years ago

    yeah i’m gonna join everyone else and agree, they could have just put out a single US retail candidate for one price, one for emerging markets, hope the prices are more reasonable.

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 11 years ago

    I know that tons of companies do it, but what’s with segmenting your product by removing features? It wouldn’t cost Microsoft anything to give everyone the professional edition instead of the “home premium” edition. Vista even limited the amount of RAM you could use depending on which version you bought. Hopefully they won’t do that again.

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      Uhhh…glass half empty much?

      You could just as easily say that they’re segmenting the product by ADDING features. Which of the added features in Professional are commonly needed by Home Premium users? Which of the Ultimate features are commonly needed by general business users? Etc.

      So of course they’re going to do it. It doesn’t really cost them much to split up the SKUs, and it greatly ehnances their marketing, support, and revenue stream. Home users can’t pay as much as business users, and will balk at paying a business-level price; little Tommy messing around on daddy’s Best Buy computer doesn’t work his way into the domain configuration settings and accidentally break all access to the family printer, but Joe IT Admin can configure domains on the company network.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      The RAM limits didn’t impede nearly 100% of those specific customers, though.

    • Fighterpilot
    • 11 years ago

    For those who can’t chew gum and walk at the same time…having more than 2 versions of W7 may be too much of a challenge.
    Perhaps we should have just one video card,one CPU speed etc….to keep it baby simple.

    • FubbHead
    • 11 years ago

    5 different versions and probably different licenses per platform and language on top of that. Except perhaps for Ultimate, which *magically* will have MUI support.

    *sigh*

    Weren’t there a lot of talk coming from Microsoft about releasing just one basic version, and then offer feature upgrades on top of that? Or I just got it all wrong…

    • Taddeusz
    • 11 years ago

    It’s a tad interesting. The Ars Technica article notes a Windows 7 Basic version slated only for “emerging markets”. The Windows 7 Starter is for worldwide distribution only through OEM’s. I wonder which information is correct? I always thought the Starter version was for emerging markets. Its possible the switch is so that Windows 7 will run on low resource computers such as netbooks and then give emerging markets an upgrade.

    • zgirl
    • 11 years ago

    Pro it is then. I have only ever installed it when dealing with XP, but I have found some tools are missing for troubleshooting network issues in the past.

    I’d rather have something I know is going to do what I want when I want to do it.

    and really Ultimate and Enterprise are the same thing just VL and Non VLs of the same thing. I am assuming the only reason they exist is due to Key generation. I mean really you had XP pro and XP pro VL, the consumer was never really concerned about the latter.

    • FireGryphon
    • 11 years ago

    For all the bad sentiment that the different versions idea gets, I wonder if it makes life easier on anyone. For example, people who don’t know anything about computers and are likely to break stuff can get a stripped down version of Windows that gives them less to break. Perhaps?

    • A_Pickle
    • 11 years ago

    The headline should read:

    “Microsoft continues to delude itself into thinking that separating it’s OS into several different versions is appealing to people.”

    Man. I hoped. I mean, /[

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      You’re complaining about there being 2 versions? 95% of people will be fine with Home Premium.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 11 years ago

      Mac OS X doesn’t need different versions because they aren’t a presence in the business world. Business needs will always be fundamentally different than home user needs. Thus there will always be 2 different versions (Win NT vs Win 95/98, Win XP home vs Pro).

      Linux is no different. RedHat for businesses, Ubuntu for home. You pick the distro that suits your needs, likewise pick your Windows version that suits your needs.

      Concerning Ultimate (this time), they’re just throwing out there for the few people (all 5 of them) that want the business features on their desktop.

        • Thresher
        • 11 years ago

        No, that’s because all of the crap that MS considers “Business” are already part of the BSD underpinnings. Apple would actually have to cut stuff OUT of the OS to make a consumer version.

        • designerfx
        • 11 years ago

        There’s a difference between different versions for different purposes and crippleware. Guess which one microsoft sells?

      • d2brothe
      • 11 years ago

      Ha, you inch closer to linux…it has *HUNDREDS* of “VERSIONS”…they just call them distros….this is actually quite sane licensing.

        • CasbahBoy
        • 11 years ago

        Hundreds of choices sure, but they all (even the ones without actively maintained repositories if they don’t screw with the file system hierarchy standard much) have the exact same featureset.

          • VaultDweller
          • 11 years ago

          Nay. Fedora does not have the same feature set as RHEL. SUSE Desktop does not have the same feature set as SUSE Server.

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            Which means Mr. Pickle will screw himself over if he switches to Linux.

            • CasbahBoy
            • 11 years ago

            Are there a lot of closed source and/or proprietary packages in RedHat linux? If the differences in question are not unique to RedHat and available in other distros, you can most certainly grab the source or binaries and compile or install them yourself. This is not the case among different versions of Windows without replacing executables, DLLs, or registry entries directly from higher versions, and even then things might not work.

            • CasbahBoy
            • 11 years ago

            What I’m saying is that if SuSe Desktop doesn’t come with Apache installed or cannot be joined to a SuSe repository that contains Apache, you can just grab the source from Apache’s site and compile it with standard Linux tools. The differences tend not to be as as fundamental (hardcoded connection limits in IIS and the like) as they are in Windows.

            I suppose doing any of these things within Linux would be quite possible, just not be officially supportable by RedHat or SuSe…and when dealing with businesses, that really does make all the difference, doesn’t it?

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      As compared to what? Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows XP Home, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP 64, Windows XP K/N regional releases, Windows XP Media Center Edition, the four different versions of Windows Server 2003?

      If anything, Vista and this may be a simplification.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 11 years ago

    Hmm. Not sure if I should go Pro or Ultimate this round. Pro’s quite feature rich, but we’ll have to see how much more it costs for the (Enterprise) features added in Ultimate.

    • Firestarter
    • 11 years ago

    Let us breathe a collective sigh of relief that they don’t plan to market a ‘Home Basic’ version.

    Doublechecking that the PC you’re recommending to someone has Vista Home Premium got a bit tiresome

      • axeman
      • 11 years ago

      Not as tiresome as finding XP drivers for machines that were too underpowered to run the preinstalled version of Vista Basic (single core, 1GB ram, doesn’t quite cut it for Vista). Thankfully that type of woefully underpowered system isn’t really sold anymore (not hating on Vista here, the same thing when XP came out, lots of bargain machines were sold just crawling along with 128MB or ram)

    • MadManOriginal
    • 11 years ago

    *waits for the inevitable freebie promotions for Ultimate*

    If not I hope there’s an upgrade edition workaround to do a full install ๐Ÿ™‚

      • reactorfuel
      • 11 years ago

      OEM full versions are cheaper than retail upgrades. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • MadManOriginal
        • 11 years ago

        But they only entitle you to one installation tied to a motherboard technically and MS could deny an activation if it’s installed on a new system. Not so with the upgrade version workaround, although it too may violate the EULA it will activate like a retail license.

          • Kurotetsu
          • 11 years ago

          Has Microsoft ever denied an activation to anyone? I mean, I know its technically within their right as far as the OEM editions go, but I’ve never heard of them actually invoking it.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 11 years ago

            I don’t know but OEM versus upgrade price difference was almost nil, nothing like upgrade versus full retail. I should also make clear that it’s the double install of upgrade over itself that doesn’t jive with the EULA, not installing it on an entirely new system.

    • leor
    • 11 years ago

    that’s too bad, i hoped they would copy OSX further and just release one version, or maybe one stripped down version for emerging markets, and one for everyone else.

    all these different versions just confuse and annoy.

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      RTFA, there is only two versions for the retail market (Professional, Home Premium).

      The other editions are purely OEM licensing deals. Starter for foreign markets, Enterprise for well enterprise markets and Ultimate for niche markets.

        • willyolio
        • 11 years ago

        three, you mean. Ultimate is also available for the general market. most people will ignore it, though.

          • Meadows
          • 11 years ago

          True story, it’s not the proposition Vista Ultimate was.

          • Usacomp2k3
          • 11 years ago

          From what I heard, it won’t be the general market in the same way that the other 2 will. It’ll be more ‘exclusive’ meaning probably not the Dell Vostro line, etc.

        • leor
        • 11 years ago

        yeah but as a support tech i’m going to run into at least 4 of these versions. i don’t care what microsoft says their “2 retail versions” if they’re out there, between family, friends and businesses i’m going to run into em.

          • Usacomp2k3
          • 11 years ago

          And why is that a problem?
          Also, Ultimate = Enterprise, so it’s really only 3 features.

            • leor
            • 11 years ago

            it’s just more of a hassle, if u can’t figure out why, u haven’t done enough tech support, or dealt with enough people.

            • Usacomp2k3
            • 11 years ago

            I haven’t had any hassle dealing with the “multitude” of different versions of Vista, or even XP Home/Pro. *shrug*

    • emorgoch
    • 11 years ago

    Why the hell do they keep insisting that Remote Desktop is a “Professional” feature. Home Premium has everything that I want, except for that, and beyond RDP, there’s no other reason for me to get professional.

    Even worse is if they do what they did with Vista: Media Center in Home Premium, RDP in Pro, or if you want both: Ultimate only.

      • khands
      • 11 years ago

      Scratch that, misread, sorry.

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      Remote Desktop is a “professional” feature. It is more of a nice to have, but not necessary for a home environment. Besides, you could use third-party solutions for remote desktops.

        • Corrado
        • 11 years ago

        With the emergence of netbooks and Media Center and media sharing, I’d argue RDP is a necessity. I house all my media on my desktop and sometimes I want to move stuff around to watch a movie or something via the XBox 360/WinMediaSharing, but I have to get up and go downstairs and see whats wrong because I can’t RDP to it.

          • Usacomp2k3
          • 11 years ago

          Windows 7 has a “play on…” feature similar to the send-to in XP/Vista. You can tell it to send media to be played on any DNLA device (such as the xbox). All you have to do is right-click a song/video and then the device will start playing it (if you have it in the right mode). You can browse to a network resource, and do the same thing, except that the remote host will send it directly to the device to play, and not go through your client. (ie, if you are using an eeepc, you can browse to your desktops music files on the network share, hit send to, and your desktop will stream it directly to the xbox). I think that that will solve that specific issue for you without the need for RDP.

          Note, I personally use RDP almost every day, so I’m going to have to go with the pro version.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 11 years ago

          To be fair a ‘home’ version isn’t meant to be a real server box, media streaming not withstanding, so while it would be nice for it to accept remote desktop connections it makes sense why it doesn’t. Looks like pro would be the way to go for that use. But I don’t know how you’d remote desktop from an xBox anyway?

        • emorgoch
        • 11 years ago

        With the emergence of an always connected society, and the fact that Windows Home Server has the RDP Gateway built in, I’d argue that it has moved away from a professional feature to advanced home user one.

          • Trymor
          • 11 years ago

          Then MS would have to offer an Advanced Home User version. They probably figure that if someone is that advanced, they will know to buy the professional version, since they have the skillset of an I.T. professional.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 11 years ago

          What’s the third word in that product name – oh yea! Server! ๐Ÿ™‚

            • Usacomp2k3
            • 11 years ago

            The feature that he is talking about is that you can access your WHS box from anywhere on the internet, and then from there you can access any computer inside your network via an embedded RDP window.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 11 years ago

            Yes I know I have a WHS box. My point is it’s not ‘Windows Home Home’ it’s Windows Home b[

            • emorgoch
            • 11 years ago

            You still need to have the Remote Desktop server running on the target machine that WHS is redirecting you to. And the whole point of WHS is so that anyone can set it up and run it, not just the pros. So it’s very feasible that you’ll have WHS as your gateway, but then all the other machines in your LAN are running Home Premium, and thus, the whole RDP gateway thing is a bust.

        • axeman
        • 11 years ago

        I really don’t care about Microsoft thinks is a “professional” feature, what I think is laughable is the effort they have to put into castrating the features. Take XP home, and NTFS file permissions. it’s there, they just make it so you can’t get at it, unless in safe mode. And I’ve done some pretty ordinary things to XP Home machines to have NTFS permissions screw me up. It’s a real pain to have to use a commandline (CALCS) to work around a purposely crippled OS. Now Vista doesn’t have that particular issue, but all this segmenting of OSes is really designed to justify an overpriced “ultimate” edition OS. They can’t sell everyone a 300 dollar OS, but they can force people who really need feature ‘X’ to shell out the extra.

          • ECH
          • 11 years ago

          Who can argue with that opinion? Nice post!

            • Saber Cherry
            • 11 years ago

            Agreed. All I want is Starter – 3 applications at once are fine, but since those are Notepad, Bitlocker and Applocker, I have to get Enterprise ๐Ÿ™

            …or I could just stay with XP for another generation ๐Ÿ™‚

            At this rate Windows 9 is going to be limited to 1 app at once and it will have to change its name to “Microsoft Window”.

    • CapnBiggles
    • 11 years ago

    Any idea how affordable upgrading from, say, Vista 64 Home Premium would be? Are they going to cut us Vista adopters any kind of break at all?

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      Supposedly the “Upgrade” version will only count for Vista. XP users will have to buy the full-version.

      That said, prices haven’t been revealed, so hopefully they’re priced decently.

        • CapnBiggles
        • 11 years ago

        Well that’s good at least. Here’s hoping it will be affordable.

    • Voldenuit
    • 11 years ago

    Instead of having a useless stripped down “starter” version for developing markets, M$ should just swallow the pill and slash its prices in developing nations.

    After all, a bottle of coke doesn’t cost $1.25USD in Vietnam, so why should software cost the same?

    If it’s priced out of the means of the customers, it’s just going to get pirated anyway.

      • crose
      • 11 years ago

      It’s going to be pirated anyways, period.

      • willyolio
      • 11 years ago

      well, the thing is, a bottle of coke actually only costs a few cents to make, so they CAN afford to slash prices down like crazy.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 11 years ago

        To play devil’s advocate, the software doesn’t “cost” that much to make in terms of physical medium. You have to count in the cost of development and stuff, I guess.

          • willyolio
          • 11 years ago

          yeah, microsoft does have to pay its employees.

          coke…. just kinda has to toss a few pennies at them. yay for third-world child labour!

      • MadManOriginal
      • 11 years ago

      It would be pirated at any price above $0.

        • khands
        • 11 years ago

        No, I argue it will be pirated at anything above -$1, if you aren’t paying people to take it, people will steal it.

    • willyolio
    • 11 years ago

    nuts. i really want to get my hands on enterprise. maybe i’m just a bit paranoid, but bitlocker and applocker seem like useful features. and i don’t really want media center, nor do i want to pay the “Ultimate” price.

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      It may be a little more difficult to acquire a copy via legit means. I suppose that you could always try to work out something with MS.

    • SpotTheCat
    • 11 years ago

    Wow. I actually like this model. Pro it is for remote desktop if I need it. Otherwise I don’t see any problems with home.

    I like how pro also has media center stuff included. That really makes it easier than vista.

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      and VPN connection to their workplace’s domain……….

    • Krogoth
    • 11 years ago

    It is the practically the same as Vista.

    The only difference outside of naming is that Business tier gets bulid-in multimedia support.

    There is now far less of a reason to get Ultimate Edition. The extras are just gimmicks and the other features can be easily replaced by third-party solutions.

      • d2brothe
      • 11 years ago

      Exactly…its *NOT* the same as vista. Ultimate won’t really be visible…and Basic won’t be sold here…so your left with Pro and Home…a la XP.

    • Mystic-G
    • 11 years ago

    Why can’t it be just Home and Professional editions?

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      For most people it is. If you live in the developed world you won’t encounter Starter and you’ll rarely hear (or care) about Ultimate

      • SpotTheCat
      • 11 years ago

      That’s basically the decision most of us will be making.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Because that would leave millions of people without editions that specially suit them.

      • moshpit
      • 11 years ago

      Because I like the word “ULTIMATE” in my OS title :p

      • feek
      • 11 years ago

      that’s all that is going to be in retail, so why do you care??

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    “Home Premium”? Die, marketing drones, die!

    Just give each SKU one designator name — “Home” works just as well here as it did for XP — and leave it there.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      They were saying that people thought that going from “Windows Vista Home Premium” to “Windows 7 Home” would seem like they were losing features.

        • ludi
        • 11 years ago

        In that case, why not go full Japanese gameshow? “Windows 7 Home Premium Super Mega Happy Fun Show” ought to /[

        • eitje
        • 11 years ago

        I like the sound of “Windows 7 Premium”. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • willyolio
      • 11 years ago

      yeah… why call it “home premium” when there isn’t a “home basic” version?

      just call it “home”

        • MaxTheLimit
        • 11 years ago

        Or better yet, just Windows 7H! Then Windows 7P!
        It’s just a name, no big deal, at least nothing to get in a huff about.

          • willyolio
          • 11 years ago

          names matter. it’s better if it is easier to remember and clearly states a product’s purpose.

          i mean, would you buy any version of windows if it were named Windows 7 Super Awesome Deluxe R0xx0rz UR B0xx0rz Elite?

          or if it’s just short, but doesn’t help you remember what features it actually has:

          Windows 7 Z3 vs B2 vs K1.

            • MaxTheLimit
            • 11 years ago

            Ya well it’s not super awesome deluxe blah blah blah. It’s just two words, and they are there so Vista users don’t see Windows 7 Home, and think they might be moving from Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Home Basic, and thus lose features. Granted it’s redundant for anyone who knows what the versions are, and what they have. However they have to cater to the groups of people who don’t know. Thus the name serves. People who don’t know will think they are getting, at the least, an updated version of what they have.

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 11 years ago

    Looks like a 64bit home premium for me.

      • SsP45
      • 11 years ago

      I really hope they include both 32-bit and 64-bit versions on every disk.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    So basically we have 3 well-separated editions, should be fine. Home Premium should be excellent for the majority, I don’t expect the average user to even need Professional.

      • jdaven
      • 11 years ago

      I see three separate editions as well: Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate. Obviously, the Starter and Enterprise won’t be available to the individual. However, even if Ultimate is not marketed (read sold???) as much, some users may still want/need DirectAccess, BranchCache, AppLocker and BitLocker and will only be able to get these through the Ultimate edition.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 11 years ago

        And those users will know where to get them. I personally wish that they had changed the name to “Complete” or something like that, because most people who have Vista Ultimate won’t need 7 Ultimate, but will probably be just fine with 7 Pro.

          • bthylafh
          • 11 years ago

          Yeah, the only Ultimate/Enterprise feature I can see being useful to enthusiasts is Bitlocker, and you could probably have a reasonable facsimile with Truecrypt’s whole-disk encryption.

            • cygnus1
            • 11 years ago

            the VHD booting in 7 Ult. is the draw for me. DirectAccess and BranchCache may be useful for my friends who access my server at home.

      • ChronoReverse
      • 11 years ago

      I like how for most people it’s just two versions to consider given that the Ultimate/Enterprise features are almost exclusively business level items that aren’t even that necessary.

    • khands
    • 11 years ago

    Well, at least it’s a little better than Vista, need to get completely off the 5 different versions though. Home/Media, Business, and Ultimate (features of both) should be the absolute maximum number of versions.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Two of those editions are unavailable to conventional markets, since one is for businesses and the other is for developing countries.

        • khands
        • 11 years ago

        Understood, and hence the “better than Vista” remark, I guess the Starter Edition is alright for developing countries, but I can’t see a reason to have an “Enterprise” and “Ultimate” edition except to grab more money. Volume License FTW.

          • Usacomp2k3
          • 11 years ago

          Might help with piracy too.

          • ChronoReverse
          • 11 years ago

          Hmm, well it looks like Pro is the version to get now (again) =)

            • Krogoth
            • 11 years ago

            No, Home Premium is the choice for non-business purposes.

            • ChronoReverse
            • 11 years ago

            Well, I meant for people who frequent sites like this. A great number of us like to use Remote Desktop for instance. Now that everything in Home is in Professional, it’s just like with Windows XP.

            • Veerappan
            • 11 years ago

            Agreed. Remote Desktop is something I won’t go without and is the only reason I’ll be picking win7 professional over home premium.

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